Tuesday, September 29, 2015

european collective action to help refugees


"In between nervous refugees and the frustrated policemen stepped volunteers clad in orange vests, calming people down, reuniting family members and generally oiling the wheels of a clunky and frequently changing system."

"Major aid agencies like the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, are mounting relief efforts, but some of the quickest responders along the Balkan route have been civilian volunteers.
In addition to locals who have helped out in their cities or areas, young Europeans are venturing across the region to provide urgent, direct and sometimes essential help to struggling refugees.
For some it is an extension of activism at home, often with human rights, anti-capitalist and environmental groups. For others, it is a response to what they have seen and read about the refugee crisis. And for a few, the decision to help came when they were in the Balkans and could no longer look away."

"Along the Balkan route, they not only offer food and drink but also help set up Wi-Fi hot spots and places to recharge cellphones, using their technical savvy to offer cheap and quick solutions to refugees who rely on smartphones for information, communication and navigation.
As different bottlenecks and crisis points appear along the refugees’ route, volunteers coordinate efforts and direct one another to where they are most needed, using social media and interactive maps."

this is pretty cool. Mostly young people using modern technology to reach out to people in need.

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